This one is again from Sen. It took me some time to understand exactly what he mend, but umpiring the iShares Cup in Amsterdam and Almeria, brought me closer to an answer.
Thema: Question of rule 20.1 and ISAF Q&A 2009-028 published 22 April 2009
Two questions regarding rule 20.1.
Does a hailed boat have to respond to a hail to comply with her obligations under rule 20.1 in the following situations?
- (e) When the hailing boat will not have to make a substantial course change to avoid the obstruction?
- (f) When the obstruction is a mark that the hailed boat is fetching?
- (e) Yes. The boat that hails breaks rule 20.3 by hailing when safety does not require her to make a substantial course change to avoid the obstruction. However, the hailed boat must still comply with rule 20.1(b).
- (f) Yes. The boat that hails breaks rule 20.3 by hailing when the obstruction is a mark that the hailed boat is fetching. However, the hailed boat must still comply with rule 20.1(b).
I can somehow understand the answers, but cannot understand perfectly.
And also RRS 2009-12: New Section C, which prepared by ISAF RRC Section C Working Party, November 2008, says "Hailing for room breaks R20.3 ……
Note: even if A's hail breaks R20.3, steps 1-3 above still apply."
At the situation (e) or the situation (f), if the hailed boat did not respond either by tacking as soon as possible or by immediately replying 'You tack and giving room', and continued to sail on, not changing course, do both boats break a rule?
i.e.: the hailing boat broke rule 20.3 and the hailed boat broke rule 20.1(b)?
The hailed boat was forced to break rule 20.1(b) because the hailing boat broke rule 20.3. Therefore can the hailed boat be exonerated as the innocent victim of the hailing boat's breach of a rule under rule 64.1(b)?
I would be very happy to receive your reply.
Thanks in advance.
This is my opinion:
Even when the hailing boat is breaking rule 20.3 by one of the reasons you stated, the hailed boat still MUST comply with 20.1(b) and respond either by tacking as soon as possible, or by immediately replying ‘You tack’ and then giving the hailing boat room to tack and avoid her.
Rule 20 is a safety rule. There’s is no middle ground. The hailing boat must trust that the other boat will respond. Otherwise it is usually not save to sail that close to an obstruction on a close hailed course. Bearing away alone will, in nine out off ten cases, not be enough to change the direction the boat is traveling sufficiently to avoid hitting the obstruction. Therefore the hailed boat has been given no other option in this rule but to respond.
After responding, it can then protest the other boat for breaking rule 20.3, if she feels that the hail was not necessary for the reasons you stated.
If the hailed boat does not respond – something she is not forced to do – she breaks rule 20.1(b). In fact then both boats break a rule. The hailing boat breaks rule 20.3 by it’s inappropriate hail as well.
The hailing boat is not forcing the hailed boat to sail on and not respond, quite the opposite in fact. Therefore she can never be exonerated under 64.1(b).
I can well imagine a situation close to a shore where the local sailor will hail apparently too soon, knowing the shallow water he’s coming to, and then be forced, by a not responding windward boat, in to running aground.
Much better the have a system where the boats avoid the danger and sort things out afterwards – if necessary with the PC. That would not happen if the hailed boat thinks he can be exonerated for not responding to the hail.